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05 / 08 / 2011 - Response to report printed in The Belfast Telegraph newspaper about attack on a member of Precious Life
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Letters to the Editor
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Your columnist Fionola Meredith used her article ”God save us if this religious lunacy is allowed to triumph” (3 August) to make unsubstantiated allegations and false accusations about pro-life group Precious Life.
She referred to an incident when a female member of Precious Life was attacked and pushed to the ground outside the Family Planning Association (FPA) offices in Belfast city centre.
Fionola stated “..Now, I have no further details of what happened on this particular occasion.”
As a journalist, why then did Fionola not take the time to find out further details before writing her article?
Instead she simply ignored the fact that a woman was attacked and pushed to the group, but instead used it as an excuse to launch into a tirade against Precious Life.
She referred to Precious Life using “ghastly photographs” and “foul images of aborted foetuses”
At least Fionola is inadvertently acknowledging that abortion is foul and ghastly. It is the reality that these photos and images portray - a little baby killed by abortion - that is foul and ghastly.
Precious Life do not “...stage daily protests outside the FPA” as the Fionola stated. Precious Life hold daily Prayers Vigils outside the building where the FPA have their office.The building also contains a number of offices for other organisations - e.g. Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM). During our Vigils usually no more than three people will stand quietly praying. One of our volunteer will also hand out pro-life information leaflets to people going in or out of the building. We also hand out leaflets to people passing by in the street.
Fionola stated that Patrick Yu, chief executive of NICEM has gone to the police three times about this sort of “..harassment” but “..Precious Life has been allowed to get away with such outrageous behaviour for years.”
Does Fionola not realise that police have not taken any action because what we do is not harassment or outrageous but perfectly legal?
On a side issue - NICEM say their vision is a society where human rights are guaranteed so it’s surprising that they would side with an anti-life organisation such as the FPA who deny the right to life of unborn babies.
Does Fionola think that handing out any leaflets is “harassment” and “outrageous behaviour”? If she walks through Belfast city centre any afternoon she will be handed leaflets or approached by people with surveys, petitions, charity appeals, etc. Does Fionola feel harassed or outraged by this behaviour. Or is her outrage only directed to pro-life leaflets?
Fionola described the FPA as an organisation offering counselling to women facing crisis pregnancies. But she failed to mention that the FPA is an abortion referral agency, which is heavily involved in various campaigns and court cases to have the killing of unborn babies legalised in Northern Ireland.
Fionola Meredith is well known for her support for abortion, and using words like “reprehensible ..extreme ..outrageous” to describe Precious Life only goes to show she is out to promote her pro-abortion agenda.
Regardless of her support for abortion, there is no reasonable defence for such biased journalism. Believing that you are on the side of rightness is not an acceptable excuse.